Sunday, 12 June 2011

Gentle Spirit

"A  great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."

We often think of the Holy Spirit as a dynamic powerhouse, but we sometimes fail to appreciate the gentleness of the Holy Spirit, which is found as much in the silence and stillness within us as in  extraordinary external events such as rushing wind or signs and wonders. The Holy Spirit inhabits the world of the ordinary and everyday much more than it does the world of the extreme or sensational. Henri Nowen wrote:
        "The movement of God's Spirit is very gentle, very soft - and hidden. It does not seek attention. But that movement is very deep and strong. It changes our hearts radically."

 I have been thinking recently of those who have been hurt by some of the  more extreme and sensationalised expressions of religious faith. The picture of a  gentle spirt speaks to me of the way God brings healing through giving us space, and reaches us in quietness and calm.